“Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Walking down a barren, parched, desert road in Israel, a Jewish man was attacked by a gang. The thugs stripped off his clothes, robbed him of valuables, beat him half to death and left him to die.
The road connected two cities, so it was reasonably well traveled. Along came a priest. He was probably busy with important things, so he took one look, moved over to the other side of the road, and walked on. Soon a Levite, or Temple assistant, came upon the wounded man, but after a moment’s consideration, he too walked on.
Then a Samaritan man, a despised enemy of the Jews, stopped, assessed the injuries of the poor man lying in the dust, and was moved with compassion. He tended his wounds, put him on his donkey, took him to a local inn, and paid for the man’s care.
Jesus told this story to demonstrate the difference between knowing what is right and doing what is right. Knowing the laws of God, as certainly the priest and Levite must have, and actually living them.
Did each of these men wrestle in their minds, even for a moment, about what they should do?
Certainly, the Samaritan must have paused a moment before touching this Jewish man, knowing how much the Jewish people and Samaritans disliked each other.
His decision to be a Good Samaritan began with a wrestling match in his mind.
Should I or shouldn’t I? What’s the right thing to do?
Many of the decisions and thought processes we engage in involve important, often life-changing choices. Our minds are the crucial battleground where matters of importance and eternal significance are being weighed and fought over every day. How we resolve these conflicts makes a profound impact on our lives and others.
The battle can be won if we use the right weapons. Not carnal, but mighty, “casting down arguments and every high things that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.”
We can make the right, braver, decisions and nurture healthier thinking when we use the tools given to us by God.
“Thoughts invite us, more than words and deeds, to continue in sin, for thoughts can be concealed, while words and deeds cannot.”—Soren Kierkegaard